How many times have you heard the response “I’m busy”? Or, how often have you said it yourself?
It's true, many of us lead busy lives. We're juggling work, family, social events, and so on. The reality is, we live in a culture where being busy is the norm. For many, we think that if we're not busy, then what are we doing with our life? The trouble with this is that when you're always busy, you're putting unnecessary stress on your mind and body.
How to know when “I’m busy” is a problem
When it becomes your default answer
We're all busy from time to time, and there's nothing wrong with that. A problem can arise when “I’m busy” becomes your default answer to any new request coming in. For example, with a friend you've not connected with in a while invites you to lunch.
When someone asks you for something — a child, a friend, a coworker - is your automatic response “I’m busy”? When you are truly too busy, a better answer is “I am busy right now, but let's talk about it this later.”
The suggestion isn't to give attention to everyone who asks you for something, every time, but sometimes
you give attention to those who scream the loudest, and this does not serve you. When possible, acknowledging the person's request for your time and letting them know when you can address them is better than dismissing them with “I’m busy”.
When you are using it to avoid being honest
The “I’m busy” excuse is a problem when it's being used as an excuse to avoid uncomfortable situations or speaking honestly. Maybe it's going to an event you're not really interested in going to, or meeting for coffee with an old friend you no longer feel close to.
Instead of using the default “I’m busy” excuse try this:
· take a few moments and gather your thoughts
· form a thoughtful and honest response
Being honest is going to serve you better every time.
When you are not taking care of yourself
“I’m busy” also becomes a problem when you use it to avoid taking care of yourself.
A very real example of this is when you opt for fast food over taking a few moments to prepare a healthy meal. Is it really because you don't have enough time to cook, or are you just using the “I’m busy” excuse? When it comes to health and wellbeing, the same thing can apply to putting off making time to go to the gym or taking some quiet time for yourself.
Drop the excuses
It's possible for you to make time for people and activities that are important to you. Take a close look at your calendar. Examine your priorities and free up time
for the things that will have a real and positive impact in your life.
It may take a while to break an old habit of using the “I’m busy” excuse, but with practice and self-inquiry, you will find yourself wondering when was the last time you used the excuse “I’m busy”.